Topeka community honoring anniversary of accident that killed members of female Mariachi band

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT)– The Topeka community will honor a historic, all-female Mariachi band, Mariachi Estrella, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of a tragic accident.

Four members of Mariachi Estrella were killed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City when a walkway collapsed in 1981. The accident killed a total of 114 people.

Teresa Cuevas, one of the survivors, founded the band in the 1970s in Topeka. The group was popular for breaking gender stereotypes within the Mariachi music industry, but to Teresa’s granddaughter, the women mean much more to her.

“It’s amazing that it has been 40 years but yet sometimes it seems like yesterday,” said Michelle Cuevas-Stubblefield, Teresa’s granddaughter. “They left such a gift of music, of learning, of being proud of your culture and all of that still resonates today so it’s nice to see that continued acknowledgment by the community.”

The honorary event will be held at the Topeka Performing Arts Center on July 16 at 11 a.m.

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